They cried out in fear, but Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ Matthew 14:26-27
Mighty God and ruler of all creation, give new strength to our faith, that we may recognise your presence even when all hope seems lost.
Help us to face all trials with serenity as we walk with Christ through the stormy seas of life and come at last to your eternal peace.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
- Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
- Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22
- Romans 10:4-15
- Matthew 14:22-36
- Next week:
- Genesis 45:1-15
- Psalm 133
- Romans 11:13-32
- Matthew 15:21-28
A Thought to Ponder
Pentecost 11 – Matthew 14:22-36
When the disciples saw [Jesus] walking on the sea they were terrified . . . When [Peter] saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
In Matthew’s Gospel, the storm at Gennesaret and Peter’s walking on the water immediately follows the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. The depth of Peter’s love for Jesus is not matched by a depth of faith; but Jesus, nonetheless, raises the sinking disciple up from the waters of fear and death.
Throughout the Gospels, Jesus intentionally withdraws from his friends and followers to be alone; but such times are not for “chilling” or “vegging” but for attentive, focused prayer, to be in touch with the rhythm and movement of God. God calls us to our own out-of-the-way places, our own quiet “mountains” to be fully aware of God’s presence in our lives and hearts.
What happens to Peter in today’s Gospel, happens to all of us at one time or another: We panic. We don’t trust ourselves to know what the right thing is or our ability to do it. But, somehow, God reaches out and catches us — if we’re willing to put aside our fears and try to do as Jesus would do, trusting in God’s grace to realize that good.
Jesus promises that in every storm that batters us his hand is extended to us in the hand of those we love and trust; he also calls us to grasp the Peters in our midst who struggle not to be overwhelmed by the waves of fear, doubt and alienation that often threaten to drown all of us.
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